Still it didn’t stop the TCA ballroom today from asking Freeman about what it takes to play the G. “It’s strictly a matter of learning the script. It requires no research beyond that,” said Freeman.
The Story Of God came to fruition about six years ago after Freeman and his producing partner Lori McCreary visited the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. The museum was built 1,400 years ago as a church cathedral, and then in 1935 was transformed into a mosque. The duo noticed that the frescoes were devoted to the Jewish and Christian faith.
“I was looking at a beautiful mosaic of Jesus Christ’s birth scene and conversing with some people who were Muslim. They mentioned how Christ was a part of their tradition; that he was a prophet, and I felt a little naive. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t know this,” McCreary said. “Morgan and I began discussing internally. If we don’t have a handle on this, than who does? Perhaps talking about God from our differences might enlighten us all, so that we can reach a hand across the table.”
Freeman traveled (and is still traveling) from the Ganges River to Rome to the Lakewood megachurch in Texas to uncover the origins of the world’s five main religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. “We started in August, and we haven’t finished,” said Freeman. Essentially, the show’s journey spans 5,000 years of the earth’s religious experience.
In regards to eyeopeners for Freeman and the show’s Revelations Entertainment producers, which in addition to McCreary includes James Younger, was the Hindu belief in reincarnation. “Reincarnation is a task,” said Freeman. “You have to keep at until you do it right or else you won’t come back as a human. The quest is to get it right and not have to do it again.”
Various religions have their own philosophy when it comes to defining human suffering. Freeman spoke about watching a group of men prostrating and standing 3,000 to 5,000 a day at the foot of India’s Bodhi Tree. “I think that’s suffering,” said Freeman.
“(Catholic) priests give up everything. Their worldly goods. They give it all up to God. For me that would be suffering too,” added the Oscar-winning actor.
The Story Of God airs on Nat Geo this spring.